staffing

What Winnie the Pooh Can Teach Us About Improving Recruiting Performance

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Improvement ideas for recruiting and hiring can often come from surprising sources. One such source is Winnie the Pooh.

The staying power of Pooh and friends isn’t just because they’re adorable. They’re relatable. Each character is emblematic of the types of people drawn to recruiting and staffing.

So imagine if you will these characters as part of a recruiting team. How could each improve their performance? Which of these ideas applies to you?

Winnie the Pooh
Does he really lack smarts?

On several occasions, Pooh refers to himself as a “bear of little brain.” I can imagine Pooh as a recruiter saying things like, “Oh bother, I just don’t have the brains to learn all of this jargon” or “I was not made to make so many calls. I get started and end up all muddled and confused.”

Does Pooh really have little or no brains? Let’s look at some of his assets. He is loving, loyal, a great friend, and ends up on top even through all of the bumbling because he always tries to do the right thing.

One of the biggest obstacles Pooh needs to overcome is his tendency to bury his head in a big pot of honey when things aren’t going well. If a hire starts falling apart, Pooh’s immediate reaction would be to immerse himself in finding a “smackeral” or two of the sweet stuff.

Here are some constructive alternatives to help Pooh (and you Pooh-like recruiters out there) deal with confusion, disorganization, and those times when things start going awry:

  1. First and foremost, he needs to get organized. A great way to start is by writing out his plan for tomorrow the day before.
  2. His confusion may indicate a need for additional training and practice. Just like the real world, the 100 Acre Woods offers many options including workshops, books, and articles.
  3. Pooh needs to identify his destructive patterns, such as overeating or burying his head in a pot of honey. Then, he can replace them with a positive and constructive alternative. For instance, when something goes wrong, Pooh first needs to consider the options. Is there something he can do or is it best to let it go and move on to something else? Sometimes the best option is to let go of a situation, especially if you have done everything within your power to remedy the problem.
  4. Like many of us in recruiting and staffing, Pooh has great colleagues and friends to turn to for advice and support. In addition to their suggestions and insights, role-plays and practice sessions can help him to improve his skills and discover ways to enhance his recruiting abilities.

Tigger
Focusing all of that bounciness and energy.

Tigger lacks focus. What he does have are bundles of energy and a positive nature that will carry him far. But his inability to harness that energy in a focused manner trips him up. Tigger also needs to be completely honest with himself. He tends to be so positive that he doesn’t recognize when he needs to regroup and isn’t aware that things may not going as well as he thinks.

Some tips for Tigger:

  1. A daily action plan would be a great tool for Tigger, just as it is for Pooh (in fact, I have yet to meet anyone who would not benefit from a daily plan). To stay focused in the moment, the more detailed this plan, the better. If Tigger could focus completely on one task before moving to another, the quality of his work would improve almost immediately.
  2. A strong dose of reality from time to time would do Tigger a lot of good. Bouncing ideas off colleagues, asking for honest feedback from co-workers, and occasionally taking a few moments to assess his own progress would give him clarity about where he is and the next step to take.

Eeyore
Could he be a lost cause?

Things just never seem to go Eeyore’s way. Whether it is falling into a briar patch or losing his tail (again), he seems to find himself in one unpleasant situation after another.

Eeyore reminds me of people I have met in my life that I call the “doom and gloomers.” They believe that bad things are going to happen and inevitably create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Most of us are not at this extreme, but ask yourself, “Am I, like Eeyore, sabotaging myself with negative thoughts?”

Ideas for Eeyore:

  1. It’s hard to think your way into new behavior. But you can act your way into a new way of thinking. The key is action. Eeyore needs to have a pre-planned list of actions he can take the moment gloom starts to kick in. Immediately getting into action will him feel better about himself instead of spiraling further and further into self-defeating thoughts.
  2. Negativity breeds negativity. Eeyore needs to look for and remove the negative people, situations, and possible stressors that are around him. By surrounding himself with positive things and people, it will become very natural for him to rise to the level of those around him.

Rabbit
All of those carrots gave him an eye for too many details.

Rabbit takes playing by the rules to an extreme. Can you see him ever coloring outside the lines? Rabbit’s organization skills and intelligence are fantastic, yet they sometimes cause problems because he can’t think outside the box. Rabbit could greatly benefit from lightening up and having more fun.

Here are some tips for Rabbit:

  1. Rabbit needs to play (all work and no play make Rabbit a dull and stodgy furry critter). He overwhelms himself with responsibility. Rabbit needs to find something that brings out his playful nature such as swinging on playground equipment, playing in a sandbox, driving go-karts, or anything that is all about having fun.
  2. Just say “no” to the need to be perfect. The best thing Rabbit can do for himself is to accept and be okay with the fact that he is not perfect and mistakes will happen. This is not only okay; it is a part of life!

Piglet
Mustering the courage to be a great recruiter.

Wouldn’t it have been great if Piglet could have gone to Oz with Dorothy and gotten some courage? One of Piglet’s biggest stumbling blocks is his lack of confidence when communicating with others.

On the plus side, he is extremely honest. What a salesman of job opportunities or candidates he could be if he were to combine his honesty with a strong dose of self-confidence.

Here are some tips for Piglet to build a reserve of confidence in himself:

  1. Practice the tried and true “act as if” principle. If he practices being confident he will eventually act his way into a confident way of thinking.
  2. Journaling is a powerful tool for uncovering what is really going on. If Piglet spends time each day journaling in detail his thoughts and feelings, there is a good chance that he will uncover the source of his self-doubt.

Do you see yourself in Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, or Piglet? Just like the recruiters of Honey Pot recruiting team, you have a choice to stay where you are or grow into your potential. Looking beyond what you do to who you are will give you insight into the changes and improvements necessary to increase your success in recruiting.

Scott WintripWhat Winnie the Pooh Can Teach Us About Improving Recruiting Performance
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Tony Beshara–Hiring Hero of the Week

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Personally finding jobs for more than 10,000 people; running a firm that’s helped 100,000 individuals find jobs; writing 4 bestselling job search books. These are just some of the results of the work of this week’s Hero of Hiring Tony Beshara. Tony has been a recruiter since 1973 and is the owner and president of Babich & Associates. Established in 1952, it’s the oldest placement and recruitment service in Texas. Tony’s reach in helping jobseekers also includes hosting a daily radio show on Dallas’ KVCE, “The Job Search Solution.” Thank you Tony for the heroic work you’ve done (and continue to do) throughout your impressive career.

BTW You can learn more Tony’s work and connect with him through his website.

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ABOUT THE HEROES OF HIRING

We’ve all heard it said that a company’s most important asset is its people. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great. That’s why recruiting and hiring is so important. Each person involved in the hiring process is influencing the future of their company. These individuals are also impacting one of the most important aspects of people’s lives—their careers. The individuals who play a role in the hiring process are changing companies and lives, making hiring a heroic act.

The hiring heroism of a select group of people goes above and beyond. These unsung hiring heroes are making a lasting difference on a grand scale. That’s the reason for this distinction—the Hiring Hero of the Week. The hope in bestowing this honor is that people across the globe can celebrate and learn from these truly amazing human beings.

Scott WintripTony Beshara–Hiring Hero of the Week
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Get Jobseekers to Help You Speed Up Hiring

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Quickening the pace of hiring remains a hot topic and rightly so. The time it takes to fill a job grows year after year.

Many ideas on faster hiring are focused on the employer. But what about jobseekers? Sustainable speed can only be achieved if both sides of the hiring equation are addressed.

Here are 4 things jobseekers can do (and you can suggest they do) that increase hiring speed and improve selection accuracy.

Eliminate misinformation
Recurring media reports from a variety of sources indicate that two-thirds or more of resumes contain misinformation. This frequent inaccuracy has elicited a knee-jerk response by companies—it’s assumed that resumes have exaggerations or flat-out lies and that these lies continue during interviews. To manage this, companies slow down the process and dive deep to find these erroneous details. Instead of hiring being built on trust, it’s a tedious process filled with suspicion and doubt.

Combat this misinformation head on. Inform jobseekers that you’re not seeking perfect people, but people who perfectly represent themselves on paper and in conversations. Share examples of how you’ve hired less than perfect people and helped them advance their careers. Make your company a place where potential hires can be safely transparent.

Avoid spraying and praying
Like a farmer spreading manure to fertilize plants, many job candidates are spraying their resumes far and wide, praying one will take root and land them an opportunity. Employers end up buried in a pile of resumes, many of which are a crappy fit (pun intended). Sorting through this takes time, and time kills making good hires. Especially when a talented person, who was at the bottom of the pile, is snapped up by a faster competitor.

Encourage jobseekers to take a more targeted approach to their search. Start by setting and communicating boundaries early. For example, in the content on your job opportunities landing page make it clear that you’ll only consider and respond to candidates who match required qualifications. Repeatedly reinforce and re-communicate this boundary. Popular places for doing so are on the page where candidates enter work history and just above the final “Submit” button for their application.

Offer proof instead of promises
Talk is cheap, especially when answering questions during interviews. Answering an interviewer’s questions may create a feel good moment, but these answers offer nothing in the way of proof of fit. That’s why so many good interviews turn into bad hires. Candidates talk themselves into the role, one that wasn’t a fit after all.

Have each candidate offer proof in place of promises that he or she will fit in. Instead of letting a candidate tell you how she’d solve a problem, have her show you in a role play. Rather than asking about his top skills, have him demonstrate those skills by performing sample work. Require the candidate to go beyond sharing stories of how she works well with others and let her show you how she’ll collaborate with your current team. Showing, instead of telling, provides proof for making an informed decision.

Make better choices
Searching for a job is an emotional experience. Too often feelings trump facts, prompting the jobseeker to accept a role because if feels right versus doing so because it is truly the right fit.

Teach jobseekers how to make decisions rooted in facts instead of feelings. One approach is to ask the candidate to make a list of dealmakers (must-haves) and dealbreakers (must-not haves) and send it to you for discussion during a phone interview. Compare the list to the job and your company. Let people know where things match up and where they don’t. With eyes wide open, you both get to make an informed choice of whether to move forward or not.

Helping jobseekers should be a top priority for everyone involved in hiring. Putting people to work is one way. Guiding them in how they seek work is another. Seize every opportunity you can to inform and educate jobseekers about their role in increasing speed and improving accuracy during the hiring experience. Your role in hiring gives you a unique opportunity to exert your influence beyond just filling the next job. Use that influence to make jobseekers better at their part of the hiring process. You’ll be giving them a gift that serves them the remainder of their careers.

Scott WintripGet Jobseekers to Help You Speed Up Hiring
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Mike Gawthorne–Hiring Hero of the Week

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Meet Mike Gawthorne, this week’s Hiring Hero. Mike is the CEO of UK-based Serocor Group. What makes the work of the business units within Serocor heroic is how they go beyond providing talent. They unselfishly delivery expertise, even to companies that aren’t paying customers.  “Our recruiters are a combination thought leader and matchmaker,” shared Mike. “Their job is to constantly deliver value to everyone they’re in contact with. This starts with prospective customers. We share market intelligence and best practices. If a company elects not to work with us, they’re still better off from having interacted with our team.” Spoken like a true hero. Thank you Mike for your generosity and the heroic work you and your team do each day!

BTW…Be sure to connect with Mike on LinkedIn.

____________________________________

ABOUT THE HEROES OF HIRING

We’ve all heard it said that a company’s most important asset is its people. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great. That’s why recruiting and hiring is so important. Each person involved in the hiring process is influencing the future of their company. These individuals are also impacting one of the most important aspects of people’s lives—their careers. The individuals who play a role in the hiring process are changing companies and lives, making hiring a heroic act.

The hiring heroism of a select group of people goes above and beyond. These unsung hiring heroes are making a lasting difference on a grand scale. That’s the reason for this distinction—the Hiring Hero of the Week. The hope in bestowing this honor is that people across the globe can celebrate and learn from these truly amazing human beings.

Scott WintripMike Gawthorne–Hiring Hero of the Week
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Secrets of Staffing Success Podcast

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I recently joined Todd Lewandowski for a candid conversation about the staffing industry. We covered a wide range of topics including:

  • Traits staffing agencies should look for in candidates for internal positions.
  • How firms can help fill the job traffic void left by Indeed.
  • What staffing firms can do to improve their relationship with HR.
  • The most common blind spot among staffing and recruiting firms.
  • What the biggest headline will be for the staffing and recruiting industry at the end of 2019.

 

Scott WintripSecrets of Staffing Success Podcast
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An Unexpected Way to Improve Your Recruiting and Hiring Process

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Process improvement is an important leadership responsibility. This episode features a method for improving your recruiting and hiring process…a method many leaders haven’t yet considered.

Scott WintripAn Unexpected Way to Improve Your Recruiting and Hiring Process
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Tracy Rettie–Hiring Hero of the Week

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When you spend 20+ years driving the education of industry professionals you get to shape many careers and lives. That’s just the start of what Tracy Rettie has done. She’s the Vice President, Education and Strategic Initiatives for the American Staffing Association. From owners and executives to those just starting out in the business, tens of thousands of people are succeeding in the noble work of staffing because of Tracy and her team. She is shaping the present needs and future success of the staffing industry through her leadership of Staffing World professional development offerings, ASA certification programs and webinars, and the Safety Standard of Excellence program. Thank you Tracy for the heroic work you do each day.

P.S. I hope you’ll connect with Tracy on LinkedIn.

____________________________________

ABOUT THE HEROES OF HIRING

We’ve all heard it said that a company’s most important asset is its people. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great. That’s why recruiting and hiring is so important. Each person involved in the hiring process is influencing the future of their company. These individuals are also impacting one of the most important aspects of people’s lives—their careers. The individuals who play a role in the hiring process are changing companies and lives, making hiring a heroic act.

The hiring heroism of a select group of people goes above and beyond. These unsung hiring heroes are making a lasting difference on a grand scale. That’s the reason for this distinction—the Hiring Hero of the Week. The hope in bestowing this honor is that people across the globe can celebrate and learn from these truly amazing human beings.

Scott WintripTracy Rettie–Hiring Hero of the Week
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What Recruiters Should Invest Their Time in This Year

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Time is more precious than money, so how recruiters invest their time should be a top priority. In this episode, I share one of the most important ways to invest time this year.

Scott WintripWhat Recruiters Should Invest Their Time in This Year
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Want to Fill More Staffing Orders? Change This One Thing

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I’m frequently asked how staffing and recruitment providers can fill open job orders when there aren’t enough people to fill them. I answer that question in this episode and also provide specific details for firms of different sizes.

Scott WintripWant to Fill More Staffing Orders? Change This One Thing
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